A first post is a necessary thing, so I will start with this quote from Charles Bowden’s Dreamland: The Way out o Juárez.
“Of course, there is corruption, greed, imperialism, racism, so many words we can fly like pennants in the strong winds whipping now across the deserts of faltering worlds. We stand out under the moon, drink in hand, and chant these words until our breath fails us and the moon goes down and still everything moves as before and nothing gets better and the footpads of the desperate beat past us into hopes of new lives.”
I always think of Chuck’s work when I see photo essays about Juárez, of which I’ve seen a few. In one vein, I wonder why people risk their lives to tell a story that’s already been told so much better than they can possibly tell it? Why not tell some other story as yet untold? But I can understand an unwillingness to believe that a story has been told in such a way that it can’t be told better, or at least have another dimension added to it. And young men risking their lives for a photograph, or whatever reason? I’ve certainly been there, done that.
What I can’t understand in these essays is why they never credit Bowden’s groundbreaking work on the subject. Are they not aware of it? Or do they just have bad manners? Either way, it’s unfortunate.